West Lindsey District Council has apologised to Market Rasen Town Council over its handling of the recent car parking consultation.
Market Rasen town councillors last month slammed WLDC for its consultation on whether to scrap the town’s two hours of free parking - only introduced in December 2017 - or to increase the cost of a six-day permit by a massive 187 per cent, from £106.42 to £306.
Councillors felt the timing of the six-week consultation, over the school holiday period, was not appropriate and they say it did not give enough options to consider - such as reducing operating costs.
In a letter to the town council, WLDC senior property strategy and projects officer, David Kirkup said: “The council uses a citizen panel for its consultation exercises, and this is an established and accepted practice for consultation, which enables the council to reduce its costs in carrying out many consultations, but also ensures a broad coverage of consultees.
“The panel includes people in Market Rasen and areas around it.
“The MRTC were not consciously excluded from direct consultation, but in hindsight it would have been appropriate to copy you in, please accept our apologies for this oversight.
“The timing of the consultation was set to fit in with the council’s committee cycle.
“The period of consultation was six weeks, which is our standard practice and is acknowledged as a suitable length of time for such an exercise.”
WLDC’s letter stated “all steps” had already been taken for reducing operating costs.
But, councillors at Market Rasen’s October meeting felt the letter did not go far enough to answer concerns over high operating costs.
A resident, speaking during the public forum at the town council’s September meeting, said: “A very serious option might be to look at different ways to monitor the car park instead of paying £30k for guys to come from Retford.”